If it’s broke, have a belt…

… and fix it.

I tend not to throw broken things away until I have tried to fix them.

I also don’t want anyone to wind up in hell, either. But that’s another topic.

Not too long ago, while traveling, my belt buckle broke, just fell apart. I stuck the pieces in my suitcase and brought them home.

Today I got out my ittybitty screwdrivers and repaired the belt. Belts are expensive!

This belt is reversible. The buckle is supposed to rotate (not fall off).





Belt recovered.

Use your stuff wisely.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mike says:

    Nice work. My son was on a retreat last year, and the chaplain opened a closet, and took out a vacuum cleaner. My son had seen earlier that the thing wouldn’t work. (They were in a house in the country used for retreats.) So my son said, “Father…that vacuum’s broken.” The priest looked at him, and replied, “I know; that’s why I’m going to fix it.” Three minutes later, the machine was working good as new. Didn’t hurt that the priest was also an engineer. But it does all of us good to use things well and wisely!

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    As the daughter of a Combat Engineer, I was taught early to “eke it out, patch it up, make it do, make it last.” And the value of duct tape and WD-40.
    Didn’t you mention some time earlier, Father, the potential value of a course in household skills for seminarians? So very few people (of either sex) still know how to sew, and not enough people know how to cook. Light car maintenance, electrical repairs etc. would not be a bad thing to include either.
    One of my young co-workers asked me if I had a sewing machine (!) and if I could mend something for her. Didn’t need a sewing machine – just a needle and thread and five minutes.
    “Bless me! what DO they teach them in these schools?”

  3. digdigby says:

    I remember one afternoon going out with my folks (in the late 1950’s) to buy a Hamilton Beach blender. I remember putting on a ‘nice sweater’ because we were going downtown to a department store. In those days it was a Major Purchase – something you’d show friends, it weighed a lot, made of metal and glass (and in the USA!). Now everything is made in Communist China from plastic and if it breaks you throw it away. The happiest old guy in the world? He had a crummy little hole in the wall shop lined with shelves filled with repair orders. For a few dollars each he fixed toasters, small appliances etc. and puttered all day – a puttering paradise.

  4. Charivari Rob says:

    Honestly, I saw “broke” and “belt” and my mind leapt to the entry from my venerable copy of How To Keep Your VolksWagen Alive – A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot about the serviceability of a pair of pantyhose as an emergency substitute for a broken fan belt.

    Digdigby – We had the kindred spirit to your fixit guy a couple of towns over growing up. He converted his garage to a repair shop, and for years people beat a path to his door with toasters, lamps, vacuum cleaners, etc…

  5. Charivari Rob says:


    Must remember: Preview then Post.

  6. mvhcpa says:

    Reversable? You mean you have occaision to wear something other than black? :-)

    Michael Val
    (who is ducking the belt–buckle and all–being thrown at him right now I bet!)

  7. thickmick says:

    I think you should think about suspenders.

    You could be the…”you know that Priest who wears suspenders” guy. Moreover, the liberals would leave you alone. After all, who would bust on a guy who wears suspenders?

  8. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    Fr. Z, how did you fix this belt step by step? What are the tools you used and where do I buy them?

  9. L. says:

    Father: Having read your blog for a while, my impression is that you would be happiest wearing suspenders– with a belt. Seriously, if you’re looking for a good-but-cheap-belt, you could do what I used to do when I was young and poor (candidly, I still do this). Good stores often have clearance sales on very long belts because there is not a lot of demand for them. Buy a heavily marked down long belt, and cut off what you don’t need. You must cut off the part around the buckle, and cut a slot for the tang, and then rivit or sew the belt back together. It really doesn’t matter how bad a job you do on this, so long as it’s attached securely, because when you have the belt on, no one can see it.

  10. FloridaJoan says:

    Alas, my hubby is a “fix-it ” kinda guy also. There isn’t much in our home that stays out of order for a long time . I feel blessed to have such a handy man as a helpmate !

    pax et bonum

  11. Mike says:

    Great job! Outstanding fatherly advice Fr. Z!

  12. tilden says:

    I was happy when I had to make a new hole in my belt after I had slimmed down. A leather hole punch tool is cheaper than a new belt, every family should have one. I remember my grandfather using it when I was a little kid, I was greatly awed.

  13. irishgirl says:

    Good job on fixing your belt buckle, Father Z! How do you take the photos of the work while it’s in progress? Just askin’…..[winks, then ducks]
    I once knew a Franciscan priest who was an electrician-he did a lot of work on the wiring and stuff in the rectory-sure beat having to call a repairman from outside!

  14. Aengus Oshaughnessy says:

    I have always enjoyed your posts, Father, but now I know that we are kindred spirits– truly, being a cheapskate is the only way to live. (Though, when you eventually do buy a new belt, I’ve two words of advice for you: thrift shop.)

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